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RXP
07-25-2005, 03:47 AM
I'm starting my dissertation research. I was wondering what lay people actually think of what exactly the world law means. Try and define it. Make it as long or as short as you like. I'd appreciate it.

I'm using it cause lots of authors say lay people think law means X or Y. But I'm guessing they didn't actually do any research to support their findings. So I wanna do so to find out. I'm guessing some of you aren't as simplistic as authors make out.

clokey43
07-25-2005, 10:13 AM
You want to know what lay people think? Arent lay people ones who have no legal qualifications but work within the legal sector ie clerks or magistrates?

Im not any of that but if your interested in my opinion of the definition of law I believe it is 'a rule tht is inforeced so that it has the best interests of the country(or individuals) it concerns at heart, to provide a safe and secure living environment' Law is the structure of most of our morals and shapes our way of life.

Just my opinion!

RXP
07-25-2005, 11:10 AM
Haha lay isn't clerks and stuff, that's pro.

Thanks for replying :-)

Left Face Down
07-25-2005, 11:21 AM
A law, as I see it. Is basicly a stipulation of a certain area that designates what happens when an event in question occurse.


Basicly, it's like don't just randomly kill your neighbor. That would break the law. Though the law says that if you commit homicide (doesn't really matter who) then you could be punished, yada yada yada.

coke_a_holic
07-25-2005, 12:18 PM
LaWs R 4 cHuMps! aNNrKey!!!!!1

Seriously though, a law is a rule that is to keep the general public inline. It's generally created by the government, to make sure that our freedoms are kept in check. That way they can keep us from putting others in danger.

That's what I think a law is, although, I'm sure I missed something in there.

sKratch
07-25-2005, 01:18 PM
lolz buttsecks

KappaWing
07-25-2005, 01:42 PM
Law = Written statement dictating acceptable/unacceptable behavior. Obviously, a law carries no real weight without proper enforcement.

Good?


I'm guessing some of you aren't as simplistic as authors make out. You've come to the wrong boards, then.

RXP
07-25-2005, 02:45 PM
No definition is 'good' or 'bad' They've been trying to define law for millenia of years. It's a bit gay really. Some guy wrote a 250 page book and most accure him with a good definition (H.L.A Hart) but.

I prefer legal realists definitions like O.W Holmes who said "If you want to know the law and nothing else, you must look at it as a bad man..." i.e. what the criminal thinks of the law, the law breaker for that is all that matters.

And this board isn't that stupid, esp. the politics section. Most people are smart who post in politics.

And to answer your question, your definition is too narrow. Law isn't always written down otherwise the defintion of law would equal statues and case law in common law countries. But it's fine for my purposes because my dissertation is basically gonna inquire if Marxist or Anarchist utopias have law. Because they claim no need for law in their utopias. I know for a fact Marxists do but not sure about Anarchists.

PsychoticAndInsomniac
07-25-2005, 02:58 PM
Look up theories by Hart and Kelsen. Then you can also look for definitions of the 'rule of law' and the evolution of this concept during the last century, it might help you.

RXP
07-25-2005, 03:04 PM
Yah I know Hart and Kelsen, well a bit of Kelsen mostly from General Theory of Law and State and lecture notes. His grund norm idea turns me on so much tho. It's so fascinating. You know much of the two? Into jurisprudence?

But yeah I guess I need to be reading into Kelsen cause that's a big hole in my knowledge right now. You have any ideas on my actual question tho: a basically need to find a workable definition for 'law' and use it to analyse if utopias have law.

And yeah the rule of law i thankfully have already resarched so know where to look. My conclusion was that hte rule of law is basically wherever a soverigns power is curtailed and shouldn't be mixed up with any system (i.e. democracy).

Preocupado
07-25-2005, 03:20 PM
Law = Written statement dictating acceptable/unacceptable behavior. Obviously, a law carries no real weight without proper enforcement.


My concept of a law or a rule won't go much further than that in politics too.

But my opinion on structuring social life with laws comes entirely from a subjective perspective, as in choosing to make concessions of your desires in a moment or situation, so you can brake those same rules furtherly, in a different situation.

If this further situation, where you brake those rules, makes up for your subjective concessions, then you can call it a functional law, or a law that you can live with.

So, the point of laws isn't simply breaking them or not. The point is, throught the laws, having a mechanism to make people able to choose theyr very own way of being part of society in a healthy way.

"Healthy" could be exchanged for "productive" or "peaceful", etc. That's where politics kick in with theyr objectives. Personally, i choose the word "healthy" because i believe in systems where the main objectives of human interaction are based on life and freedom.

PsychoticAndInsomniac
07-25-2005, 04:10 PM
Yah I know Hart and Kelsen, well a bit of Kelsen mostly from General Theory of Law and State and lecture notes. His grund norm idea turns me on so much tho. It's so fascinating. You know much of the two? Into jurisprudence?

But yeah I guess I need to be reading into Kelsen cause that's a big hole in my knowledge right now. You have any ideas on my actual question tho: a basically need to find a workable definition for 'law' and use it to analyse if utopias have law.

And yeah the rule of law i thankfully have already resarched so know where to look. My conclusion was that hte rule of law is basically wherever a soverigns power is curtailed and shouldn't be mixed up with any system (i.e. democracy).


I really don't know much about both authors. At the university we basically talked about the Grundnorm by Kelsen and Hart's rule of recognition, especially about Kelsen's theories. His idea that there is one rule above the rest that has to be respected by these inferior ones and that justifies the entire juridical system, although there isn't any rule that justifies the Grundnorm itself.

Regarding the concept of rule of law, we spoke about some specific characteristics, such as the division of power, the respect for fundamental rights or the legality of administration. However, it depends on the historical phase you take into account, i.e. liberal state or welfare state.

More difficult to me is to give a definition for law. Nevertheless, try to find out something about the differences between subjective and objective law, I think that would be quite helpful.

ruroken
07-25-2005, 04:35 PM
Law: What fuckers try to use to control you.

Conspiracy of One
07-25-2005, 04:36 PM
Law : bullshitty rules. That keep you safe from urself

KappaWing
07-25-2005, 08:45 PM
You two really know how to derail a thread. And just when it was getting interesting, too.

clokey43
07-26-2005, 01:09 AM
Haha lay isn't clerks and stuff, that's pro.

Thanks for replying :-)

Ooops lol knew Ii was wrong lol, ok no waiting untill August 18th to see if i passed as law that pretty much confirmed a fail lol. :D

Happy to reply!

RXP
07-26-2005, 01:55 AM
I really don't know much about both authors. At the university we basically talked about the Grundnorm by Kelsen and Hart's rule of recognition, especially about Kelsen's theories. His idea that there is one rule above the rest that has to be respected by these inferior ones and that justifies the entire juridical system, although there isn't any rule that justifies the Grundnorm itself.

Regarding the concept of rule of law, we spoke about some specific characteristics, such as the division of power, the respect for fundamental rights or the legality of administration. However, it depends on the historical phase you take into account, i.e. liberal state or welfare state.

More difficult to me is to give a definition for law. Nevertheless, try to find out something about the differences between subjective and objective law, I think that would be quite helpful.

I agree, Hart's rule of recognition and the grundnorm combined with the legal realist definitions I think are a working definition of law. Hart's/Kelsen is the abstract objective law. American realists are more the subjective subtantive defintion of law. I don't like Hart's primary and secondary rules because they are gay: primary rules don't exist in any society someone researched into tribal soceities and they ddin't even exist there. But his rule of recoginition is solid.

Oh and thanks for getting me thinking about the rule of law. I can spend a big chunk of my dissertation on a definitinon of the rule of law which was basically what my last essay was about so I have TONS of knowledge for it. Heh brain storming really does work.

Norwegian Cat
07-26-2005, 04:16 AM
In politics and jurisprudence, it's a set of rules of conduct which mandate, proscribe or permit specified relationships among people and organizations, provide methods for ensuring the impartial treatment of such people and provide punishments for those who don't follow the established rules of conduct.

PsychoticAndInsomniac
07-26-2005, 04:26 AM
I agree, Hart's rule of recognition and the grundnorm combined with the legal realist definitions I think are a working definition of law. Hart's/Kelsen is the abstract objective law. American realists are more the subjective subtantive defintion of law. I don't like Hart's primary and secondary rules because they are gay: primary rules don't exist in any society someone researched into tribal soceities and they ddin't even exist there. But his rule of recoginition is solid.

You reminded me of the three basic conceptions of law (iusnaturalism, juridical positivism and juridical realism). They offer different views of law especially with regard to the law-morality connections.


Oh and thanks for getting me thinking about the rule of law. I can spend a big chunk of my dissertation on a definitinon of the rule of law which was basically what my last essay was about so I have TONS of knowledge for it. Heh brain storming really does work.

You're welcome.

RXP
07-26-2005, 04:30 AM
You reminded me of the three basic conceptions of law (iusnaturalism, juridical positivism and juridical realism). They offer different views of law especially with regard to the law-morality connections..

Yeah the law-morality debate is the natural law versus positivism. It's a rather gay debate. Extremely gay infact. And the attempts of fuller to divorce natural law from divine law are even worse and extremely stupid IMHO. I mean he argues that a 'just' regime full of just laws is internally more coheriant and better than a tyrannical regieme basically.

PsychoticAndInsomniac
07-26-2005, 05:06 AM
Yeah the law-morality debate is the natural law versus positivism. It's a rather gay debate. Extremely gay infact. And the attempts of fuller to divorce natural law from divine law are even worse and extremely stupid IMHO. I mean he argues that a 'just' regime full of just laws is internally more coheriant and better than a tyrannical regieme basically.

Oh, I didn't hear of that Fuller before. And 'better'...what does that mean for him? At least one thing is clear to me: the coherence of a juridical system has nothing to do with justice. Nothing. A juridical system can be internally coherent without including any 'just' rule. The only important thing about coherence is the lack of contradictions between the different rules.

RXP
07-26-2005, 05:46 AM
Yeah exactly, Fuller argued the opposite saying that hte more just a regieme the more logical, consistant and organised it is.

I like how O.W Holmes (I think my fav judge) put it best

"This is a court of law young man, not a court of justice"

PsychoticAndInsomniac
07-26-2005, 06:06 AM
Yeah exactly, Fuller argued the opposite saying that hte more just a regieme the more logical, consistant and organised it is.

I like how O.W Holmes (I think my fav judge) put it best

"This is a court of law young man, not a court of justice"

I like that quote. I've always thought law isn't per definition just.

Besides, it's so difficult to define what 'just' means and then translate it into specific rules without creating a contradiction with other rules and also respecting the essence of the political system.